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Parents near nuclear plant concerned about evacuation plans

I-TEAM: WAKE COUNTY PARENTS QUESTION SECRETIVE NUCLEAR EVACUATION PLAN  abc Eyewitness News, By , 5 May 16, NEW HILL, N.C. (WTVD)

In the event of an emergency… what?

That’s what parents living near the Harris Nuclear Plant want to know about their children’s schools. 23 schools are less than 10 miles from the Shearon Harris nuclear powerplant. If those schools had to evacuate, where would the kids go? The school system knows, but the parents don’t, and they asked the I-Team to get answers, tonight at 5:30

“I should always know where my child is,” said Apex mother Shannon Robke. “No matter what the situation.”

Robke lives in one of the many neighborhoods within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone around the Harris plant. It’s located in New Hill, N.C. about 20 miles south of Raleigh. Like her neighbors, Robke has never been told by the school system what the plan would be if anything were to go wrong at the nuclear facility.

That’s because in Wake County the plans are secret. A spokesperson for the school system emailed the reasoning:

“Apex Friendship High School does have an evacuation plan in place to respond to an emergency situation at Shearon Harris Power Plant. Wake County government oversees the emergency planning and response for those situations. Our part of the emergency response plan is outlined in the Wake County Public School System- Emergency Operations Plan. Since it contains sensitive safety information, it is not a public record. FEMA has reviewed and approved our emergency response plans.”

State law expressly prohibits schools from making emergency plans public. It’s spelled out in North Carolina’s educational statutes. Still, some parents say that’s little comfort.

“The safety of my child is my first concern and I do need to know where they are,” said Robke.

Robke’s neighbor, Chris Young remembers getting potassium iodide pills from the school system and county about 15 years ago and says she can’t remember hearing from the schools since.

“What’s going to happen if something happens during a school day?” Young wanted to know. “What are the parents supposed to do? What are their kids supposed to do? The school system should be providing the parents with some kind of information.”

There are 23 schools from four districts in the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone around the nuclear plant. The EPZ represents the area folks are most at risk of plume exposure in a disaster. The risk zone for ingestion exposure goes out to 50 miles.

And there have been problems at Harris. In 2013, cracks were found in the reactor vessel head. In 2006 and 2007, the plant was found to be among the worst in the nation for non-compliance…….. http://abc11.com/news/wake-parents-question-secretive-nuclear-evacuation-plan/1324830/
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May 6, 2016 - Posted by | safety, USA

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